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Unasked Questions from our Town Hall Forums….

Due to limited time during our town hall forums, we inevitably have extra questions that were not asked at the forum. This page is to post those questions and to post the responses.

 

March 28th – Platte County Health Department Board of Trustee Candidate Forum

  • Do you agree with how the Covid relief money was given to the health department?
    • Steven Hoeger (3/31@9:44pm) – No, the counties around us allocated a much higher proportion of relief funds to their Public Health Department including our neighbors to the east, Clay County, that was given $2 million the day after the county received their funds. This allowed them to be more proactive with cash in hand rather than being hesitant to spend and hoping for reimbursement. Public Health’s response was significant during COVID including testing, vaccinating and contact tracing. These were unbudgeted expenses that certainly qualified for reimbursement; however the County Commission refused many of the expenses. When faced with returning unused funds the Commission finally awarded the Health Department additional funds but much less than requested and what they were eligible to receive. The primary purpose of the Cares Act funds were to support additional health care expenses and then supporting businesses for losses not covered by other means. However our Health Department was not prioritized even while incurring significant expenses.
    • Marygold Fry (3/31@10:10pm) – NO, those funds should have been provided immediately to the Health Department when available so they could function in that emergency period.
    • Paula Willmarth (4/2@12:12pm) – No, I do not. First, I want to make it clear that the County Commission and only the County Commission had control of the Cares Act Money which came to them from the Federal Government. The Platte County Health Department started incurring extra expenses almost immediately as they began to respond to COVID. The Director of the Health Department kept copious information about what was needed to do the additional work required. The CARES Act money was intended to help shore up health departments to meet the immense need, and THEN provide money to small businesses. In the case of the Platte County Commission, they started granting money to small businesses first, including a Cigar Shop. The Department received no money until several months into the pandemic and then it was less than half of what was requested/needed.  
  • What is your stance on ivermectin? and what data do you have to support that stance?
    • Steven Hoeger (3/31@9:44pm) – Ivermectin is an anti-parasitic not anti-viral medication.While approved for the treatment of intestinal worms it’s use was not approved by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the treatment of COVID-19. They advised to only use Ivermectin as indicated. Many people were also encouraged to take high doses such as those used in the treatment of horses or cows and were often times toxic doses. Its use was also known to delay individuals from seeking medical treatment with clinically approved modalities leading to negative outcomes.
    • Marygold Fry (3/31@10:10pm) – I do not support the use of Ivermectin to treat or prevent Covid-19, especially with the availability of the Covid-19 vaccines and their boosters. Prescription anti-virals are also available to help people recover faster after infection. The following websites were provided by friends who are physicians; Cochrane Library, New England Journal of Medicine, medpagetoday.com, BMC Infectious Diseases.
    • Paula Willmarth (4/2@12:12pm) – Ivermectin is a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) topical approved drug to treat head lice and rosacea in humans.   Ivermectin is not approved by the FDA for the treatment of any viral infection. The FDA has not approved ivermectin to treat or prevent the illness caused by the corona virus. Pertinent information can be found via the Food and Drug Administration web site at www.fda.gov.
  • What steps will the Platte County Health Board take to insure there are no barriers to women’s reproductive health care?
    • Steven Hoeger (3/31@9:44pm) – The Platte County Health Department offers women’s health services to females from teens to adults. These services are only provided at the Parkville location but with the move in the coming months to the new location on Ambassador Drive will be more conveniently located to more Platte County residents.
    • Marygold Fry (3/31@10:10pm) – A good health department has no right to disallow any access to reproductive health care, regardless of religion or political objections. That being said, there is definitely one barrier, currently enforced by State Law. Until that changes, below are steps that may or may not be in effect at the Platte County Health Department.
    • Paula Willmarth (4/2@12:12pm) – The Platte Co. Health Dept. offers women’s health care services to females from teens to adults and there is no reason to stop that practice. Providing these services are a part of a sound health care regimen for women of the appropriate age. Any competent Board would continue to provide these services. 

Candidates were sent these questions on Friday, March 31st at approx. 2:45pm. I will be adding their responses to this page as they reply.

This portion of the page was last updated April 2nd at 7:57pm.

 

March 29th – Parkville Tax Proposition U and P Forum

  • Why does the city approve TIF’s on developments when the community needs more funds to run smoothly?
    • Properties that have received a TIF (Tax Increment Financing) actually pay more in taxes and payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) than the properties would if left undeveloped. TIFs are only used when a development will not occur without the incentive and the project provides major benefits to the community.

      For example the properties that were developed into Creekside were paying little to no taxes when they were undeveloped. Although they have not been fully developed yet they are paying to the city about $150,000 annually in taxes and PILOTs. In addition, prior to the development, the city was responsible for an annual sewer payment of $400,000 through a Neighborhood Improvement District (NID). Now the developer of Creekside is making the sewer payments.

      Most large scale developments in the metro area rely on some form of incentive, such as TIFs. Besides generating taxes they also provide valuable services to the community. In the case of Creekside, retail services that have been very popular and a variety of housing types needed in the community have been built. Finally, I want to mention that the TIF incentive vehicle has been used only twice in Parkville, and only after a thorough review, public meetings, and a vote by the Board of Aldermen.

  • Other than transportation, what CIPS are on the city’s list?
    • The 2023 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) totals just over $2.2 million. Transportation is $585,000 of this amount, principally for the city’s annual street overlay program, curb and gutter replacement, and sidewalk repairs. It does not include the major projects of Highway 9 and Bell Road because we anticipate incurring those expenses in subsequent years. Other large portions of the 2023 CIP include sewer improvements ($693,200), park enhancements ($478,000). The rest will go to equipment for the street department, police department, parks department, administration, and improvements in the Nature Sanctuary and to city hall for needed hardscape and extensive building maintenance items. The full five year plan can be found at the end of the 2023 City Budget, which can be found here (starting on page 79): https://parkvillemo.gov/download/2023ProposedBudget.pdf.

  • According to the vote for Creekside, the developer had agreed to pay for a new Police Building. Why is the city now paying for it?
    • First of all, the developer of Creekside agreed to give us a site for a police station, not to build a station. The city decided it would be more cost effective to use existing space on the west side of Parkville and also would be closer and more visible to the public. I specifically mentioned this in my remarks. The City is not building a police building.

  • Is the plan for the Highway-9/Downtown-triangle project available for the public to review on the city website?
    • The original plan that set the template for the Highway 9 project was developed in 2015. It can be found here: https://parkvillemo.gov/government/city-plans-studies/route-9-corridor-study/. This preliminary plan had some ideas for the triangle, but did not settle on a specific solution. Now that we have received grant funding, the City is starting on the planning for Highway 9 around downtown, and specific proposals for the triangle will be a part of that. Deciding on the appropriate design will include extensive public engagement on this and other aspects of the Highway 9 project.

  • According to the 2022 General Fund Budget vs the 2023 General Fund Budget, there was an increase of over $1 million dollars (or 68%), so isn’t prop P for general administration?
    • No. Proposition P is for public safety. A separate fund will be set up to manage and track these funds – as required by State statute and how the City manages our Transportation and Parks sales tax dollars. I’m not sure what budgets this person is looking at. The 2022 General Fund Expenditures are set at $5,703,121 (https://parkvillemo.gov/download/Final2022Budget.pdf) (Page 36). The 2023 General Fund Expenditures were set at $6,007,841 (https://parkvillemo.gov/download/2023ProposedBudget.pdf) (Page 13). The difference is $304,720, a 5.3% increase.

  • Why should we trust the city when we still have not received any reasons for fighting the sunshine lawsuit?
    • The question is asking about actions taken by a previous Board and a previous administration staff. This question should be addressed to those involved. My personal understanding is that the city did not fight the sunshine requests, but there were differences in what was being requested and what the city could or should, under state law, be provided. My understanding is that the city broke no laws and the large request for documents, more than 110,000 emails and documents, produced no evidence of inappropriate or illegal activities by the city.

  • There are four Board of Aldermen members still serving since $400k was paid in the Maki case. Why haven’t these four explained why they had the city pay that to Maki and the lawyers?
    • I cannot answer for other members of the board. However, the Board did issue a press release at the time of the settlement, which included the following explanation of why the city settled the lawsuit:

      “The City settled the lawsuit in the best interests of the Citizens, both financially and operationally. The taxpayers’ costs for continued litigation including the future legal expenses associated with depositions, a trial and potential appeals (even with a successful result for the City) are projected to exceed the settlement agreement payment. The litigation could have lasted several years with continued disruptions negatively impacting the City’s officials and staff’s work in providing the highest level of public services. For these reasons, the City believes it makes economic sense to move on for the benefit of the City taxpayers.”

      The full release can be found here: https://parkvillemo.gov/city-news/city-settles-lawsuit-over-records-requests/.

      I should also mention that the city recovered $250,000 from their insurance to help offset the costs for this settlement.

  • Why is there a 30% increase in admin staffing over 2022?
    • The city has added 1.5 staff positions to the administration department  for the 2023 budget (deputy city clerk and converting the part-time receptionist to a full-time administrative assistant). That increases the staff from 7 to 8.5 full time equivalent positions. This has been a part of a process to improve the city’s customer service, communications, and financial management.

  • Where do we find the final budget online?
  • Where do we find the Bell Road estimates online?
    • The city of Parkville just received notification that it had been awarded a grant to assist in construction of sidewalks for Bell Road. The grant and estimates along with drawings will be posted shortly on our website. The estimates were prepared by Public Works and Community Development staff.

  • Base sales tax is not the full tax. Full tax comes from all taxes. Is there a document that shows all the taxes paid in the various Parkville locations? (i.e. downtown, creekside, etc.)
    • The base sales tax in Parkville is the total of the state’s sales tax (4.225%), the county’s sales tax (1.375%), and the city’s sales tax (2.00%). This total is 7.6%. Different commercial areas have approved various special sales taxes to improve their areas through Community Improvement Districts and Transportation Development Districts. These are self-imposed sales taxes that are invested in these areas. These sales taxes do not accrue to the city. The various rates can be found on the Missouri Department of Revenue chart which can be found here: https://dor.mo.gov/pdf/rates/2023/apr2023.pdf. Scroll down to Parkville toward the bottom (on page 71 of 98) of the chart to view the various districts.

The Mayor was sent these questions on Friday, March 31st at approx. 3:45pm. Responses were received at Apr 6, 2023, 4:08 PM.

This portion of the page was last updated April 7th at 7:45am.

 

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